Over the past weeks, life has confronted me with some difficult personal issues, which is why I was unable to post as usual. Suffice to say that bereavement touches us in different ways and that we each have to find a means to work through our grief. Personally, I tend to focus on my family and try to be there for them, help alleviate the pain and make things bearable.
Solace never comes easy. Still, my character urged me to push on, so I decided not cancel my last training at Silverston GP. Although I nudged my emotions in the background, my body was still on the edge from too little sleep. I had many nights with little sleep and a lot of stress, driven for 230 miles leading up to the drill sessions. And it showed on track.
In just one day, I have had more spins, off tracks and near misses with aggressive drivers than I’ve had in my whole racing experience so far. Drivers in powerful cars were going in headfirst, lunging, diving and then braking or losing control, all the while snapping my line. With a few minutes left before the lunch break, I veered off into the gravel. Kindly, Mike jumped to my aid and urged me to get some much needed rest. In the meantime, he took out the hoover and got “down and dirty”. His attitude and support always lifts me – thank you, Mike! In perspective, this was a minor incident. Overall, it was incredibly dangerous on the track and it was my reflexes and experience behind the wheel that kept me out of much bigger trouble.
And I wasn’t the only one who thought so. The race controller sent many home because of their recklessness. Then, he called a second drivers briefing and, boy, did he have a temper! Amidst shouting and swearing, I could discerned some english words. He was saying that it’s been the worse day he’s had in 26 years and added that whoever caused another red flag could f*** off and go home. No restraints. F this and F that and F some more… He even had a special mention for Ginetta drivers… Someone wanted to show us the way out, he cleared his head and left us shaking. He mentioned the international and national champions present, one of whom, by the way, took it upon himself to underline how he agreed and felt. Quite possibly, we were taken aback maybe even a little scared but as soon as we hit the tarmac, adrenaline fuelling, what can I say! Mike told me he saw almost a dozen of radicals pulled over – Aston Martins taken off track, etc. Maybe it was best they came back another day. If I find the time, I’ll try to upload some video of the spins and the general chaos.
There were also a few Ferraris, AMG’s, Aston Martin’s on track. And with their great power comes great responsibility… on my end. I was literally screaming at them as I had to constantly break to avoid accidents. Some training that was. Jay Kay was also among them, in his Ferrari but I decided I couldn’t put up with it anymore. I overtook him singing Virtual Insanity!
This way, I could at least get some spare moments to work on my lines in preparation for the next race. Lewis Hamilton’s brother and father were out as well, but other than that, nothing noteworthy happened.
In the evening, I was alone again with my sadness. I tried to wash it away and forget the tiredness and the turmoil of the briefing. I did survive it, after all. I was not content with my performance, so I tried to constantly improve, but it seemed that my body had had enough. In quick succession, I managed to explode the crammed plastic bin on myself, misplaced my phone and then put it in the wash. It stayed in there for 4 minutes. Afterwards, I overran my bath while in it and forgot the oven on! At least the phone still worked. It was definitely time to lay down for some rest…
No matter how difficult things are for us or how sordid the near future might seem, it’s imperative that we acknowledge others have to face much, much more than we do. In light of this, consider making a contribution for the children from SOS Villages.